Be Gentle When You Clean

When you really think about it, it does seem a little counter-intuitive to invest so much time and energy into using safe, sustainable materials in our homes, to go and clean them with harsh chemicals. We have found that the best cleaning components are safe, inexpensive and probably already in common use in your kitchen!

One cup of baking soda mixed with a teaspoon of liquid soap, a bit of water, and a few drops of antibacterial essential oil (such as tea tree, eucalyptus, rosemary, or peppermint) makes a really effective cleanser for your bathroom.

Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar to clean your mirrors. Use a solution of 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar to clean windows. Wipe dry with a clean cloth. Use a piece of crumpled up newspaper to remove any streaks left behind by the cloth.

Need to polish your silver? A frequently recommended, nontoxic trick is to fill an aluminum pan (or one lined with aluminum foil) with hot water, add salt and baking soda, and stir to dissolve. When you add the silver pieces, a chemical reaction occurs, removing tarnish.

For an economical and environmentally friendly floor cleaner, mix a solution of 3 drops dishwashing liquid to 1/3 part white distilled vinegar, 1/3 part alcohol, and 1/3 part water. Spray sparingly and mop for a fast clean-up.

Some carpet stains can be removed with a paste of 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and 1/4 cup salt or baking soda. Rub into the carpet stain and let dry. Vacuum up the residue the next day. (Always test on an out-of-sight part of the carpet first).

Try these simple tips out to save money and be eco-friendly! Your wallet and Mother Nature will thank you.

[ image by awayukin ]